‘Le­sotho’s tourism po­ten­tial un­der­utilised’

Lesotho Times - - Business - Mo Mo­halenyane Phakela

T-CO T-CON­NEX­ION Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Thabo Maret­lane, says Le­sotho’s tourism sec­tor was an “un­tapp tapped gold” whose po­ten­tial was not be­ing fully har­nessed due to poor plan­ning and the coun­try’s neg neg­a­tive in­ter­na­tional im­age.

M Mr Maret­lane made the rema marks on Tues­day at Thaba Bo­siu Cu Cul­tural Vil­lage while up­dat­ing me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives and spon­sors on prepa­ra­tions for the 10th an­nual Moshoeshoe Walk sched­uleds for March next year. TheT his­toric walk was founded by T-con­nex­ion in 2007 and traces the route King Moshoeshoe I an­dan his peo­ple took as they fled from his birth­place Menkhoa­neng to Thaba Bo­siu dur­ing the Li­fa­cane pe­riod.

He said the tourism sec­tor had the po­ten­tial to boost the econ­omy and pro­vide em­ploy­ment if prop­erly ex­ploited.

“The high un­em­ploy­ment rate in the coun­try can only be ad­dressed through a prop­erly ex­e­cuted strat­egy to boost tourism. We have a beau­ti­ful coun­try that needs to be mar­keted well to at­tract tourists,” Mr Maret­lane said.

“Le­sotho has a rich cul­tural her­itage which we are fail­ing to make full use of so that peo­ple from other na­tions can come to ap­pre­ci­ate.”

He said Ba­sotho were fail­ing to con­tinue the legacy of the na­tion’s founder, Moshoeshoe I, who raised the pro­file of Le­sotho among the com­mu­nity of na­tions.

“Moshoeshoe I re­mains the wis­est king in the his­tory of Africa who was able se­cure this beau­ti­ful land we call home and bring dif­fer­ent clans to­gether to form one na­tion,” said Mr Maret­lane.

“It is high time we be­came am­bas­sadors of this coun­try and por­tray it in a pos­i­tive light to other na­tions. We should be re­garded as the Switzer­land of Africa once again and work hard to erase the neg­a­tive im­age of po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity that has dented our moth­er­land.”

Speak­ing of the Moshoeshoe Walk, which has at­tracted im­mense in­ter­est from lo­cals and for­eign tourists over the years, Mr Maret­lane said next year’s event would also com­mem­o­rate Le­sotho’s 50th In­de­pen­dence an­niver­sary with many fun-filled ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The walk will en­com­pass a lot of tra­di­tional ac­tiv­i­ties such as per­for­mances of the Mokhibo and Mo­ho­belo dances at the rest­ing places,” he said.

“We are also plan­ning a tra­di­tional cel­e­bra­tion event on the night we ar­rive in Thaba Bo­siu with Famo, Nt­lamo, Mokhibo, Mo­ho­belo and other cul­tural games played at the Thaba Bo­siu Cul­tural Fes­ti­val.”

The walk will start off in Maseru on Wed­nes­day 9 March 2016 to­wards Menkhoa­neng, and then pro­ceed the fol­low­ing day to Thaba Bo­siu on Satur­day. The en­trance fee has been in­creased from M700 to M1 000 and the tick­ets are al­ready avail­able.

T.con­nexions MD Thabo Maret­lane.

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